A new tool for protecting our vulnerable koala populations is being put to the test - drones equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and backed by powerful statistical analysis.
Koala experts from City of Gold Coast, Logan and Tweed councils are working with Queensland University of Technology researchers in this unique approach to trial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology.
Test flights over koala habitats in each region will coincide with ground-based koala counts, which has the potential to be far cheaper, safer and more accurate than current tracking methods.
Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate said the unique project enabled a coordinated approach to koala monitoring and population assessment.
"This project not only enhances our existing Koala Conservation Plans, it strengthens our koala management opportunities by partnering with our two neighbouring local government areas," Cr Tate said.
"Hopefully the results of the trial will prove useful when it comes to monitoring our resident koala populations and future planning for their protection."
The project is expected to wrap up within the next month.